PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Martin Laird birdied his final hole and had the only bogey-free round of the day, catching Ian Poulter with a 7-under-par 65 at the Players Championship.
Laird, a Scot who has two PGA Tour wins, caught Poulter with a birdie on No. 9.
3 p.m.: Ian Poulter, who finished second at the Players Championship three years ago, is in first place right now, shooting a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Blake Adams.
Poulter, whose runner-up in 2009 (the year Henrik Stenson won) is his only top-20 finish at TPC Sawgrass in eight previous starts, made four straight birdies, starting at No. 9. He added birdies on the par-5 16th and par-3 17th, then saved par on the 18th to improve his previous low score at the Stadium Course by two shots. He opened with 67 three years ago.
Of those in the afternoon wave, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, paired together, are 2 under through four, while Lee Westwood is 1 under.
Keegan Bradley birdied his final two holes to shoot 72. James Driscoll had 73.
Tiger Woods extended an ominous personal streak. He opened with 74, the 15th consecutive time he's failed to break 70 in the first round at the Players. He's currently tied for 116th, and will need a decent number in the second round to avoid missing consecutive cuts for the first time in his PGA Tour career.
Noon: Blake Adams is the early leader of the Players Championship, using five consecutive front-nine birdies as a springboard to a 6-under-par 66 at TPC Sawgrass. He leads Kevin Na (through 14 holes) and Ian Poulter (13) by one stroke.
Tiger Woods has had an up-and-down first round. Through 12 holes (he started on No. 10), Woods has five bogeys, four pars, and three birdies. He's pulled shots left, pushed shots right, and hit some fat. Not a good ball-striking round so far.
Keegan Bradley, playing in the group ahead of Woods, is even-par through 13 holes. James Driscoll double bogeyed No. 18 (his ninth hole) and shot 73.
Brian Harman will be a happy single today. Harman, the first alternate, is in the field after a unique situation this morning that head rules official Mark Russell said he's never seen in his 31 years on the PGA Tour. D.A. Points, who had an 8:39 a.m. tee time, withdrew right before he was about to begin his round, opening a spot for Harman, who was at the practice range getting ready, just in case anyone withdrew. But Points withdrew after he was announced on the first tee, and Harman didn't have any time to be informed and get to No. 1 (in the first and second rounds, groups begin their rounds in two waves off Nos. 1 and 10).
The PGA Tour decided to allow Harman to go out as a single today, and created a new 12:20 p.m. tee time for him. He's just started his round.